Simplified Ci Poems with English Translation by E. C. Chang
(Simplified ci poetry is defined here as the style of Chinese poetry that is based on the fundamental principles of traditional ci poetry without adhering to any specific cipai.)
Climbing the Blue Ridge Mountain on an Autumn Day
The mountain forest has changed its colors.
We are up here on this autumn day to view scenes near and far.
From slopes to deep valleys,
it looks like a brocade spreading on the emperor’s bed.
At the mountain side, trees upon trees
dressed up in yellow, green, purple, and red.
As beautiful as spring flowers, they cannot be compared to
the mountain’s October dress.
I like the autumn cool, but not the chilling frost.
To flatter the heart and please the eye,
don’t let the beautiful scenery go away.
As soon as the splendid view has disappeared,
frost will be on its way.
Then we will see branches and leaves withering and falling.
All of a sudden, everything appears deserted and desolate.
Charming, delicate, and tender,
it has beautiful calyxes and a mild fragrance.
No wonder the orchid has won the heart of many admirers.
It transcends the worldly with its purity, grace, and elegance.
It must have a mind that is as bright as the snow is white.
It does not emulate peaches and plums in springtime.
The orchid loves the sun in the morning and the moon at night.
Ask not what has happened in the past.
A beauty born in a quiet valley or on a cliff
is even more caressed by pure dew and wind.
Orchid, the beautiful lady of all flowers,
deserves the universal applause
by people of all colors.
Greeting the Chinese New Year
The frosted branches are not yet green.
Everywhere ice and snow can still be seen.
In greeting the Spring Festival,
the mood between the young and the old
is not the same.
Kids think about the lucky money they expect to get.
The elderly care about the passage of another year.
There is not much we can
do about seasonal changes.
Spring and winter come and go.
As a new year is in, another year is out.
Too much anxiety hastens the pace of death.
A joyful mood slows down the process of getting there.
Why not try to be young in spirit.
Go across the sea of clouds and mountain peaks;
expand your vision and chest.
Search for new ideas in walking.
Have a good time and let your body relax.
Break the spatial barrier by going online.
Let poetry fill your void if you like.
Flowers will vie for brilliance as
Spring will soon arrive.
The sun will shine upon the beautiful sky.
Beautiful Day and Landscape
The mind is wide open.
So genuine is mutual affection.
A few scattered clouds increase
the idyllic feeling.
A river full of spring water keeps
the fishing boat floating.
He is happily riding his horse
by the riverside.
Nothing is at odds in his mind.
Everything arouses his interest.
Everywhere he is touched
by the green grass on the plain.
What beautiful scenery around him!
A curl of smoke from
a farmhouse is gently rising.
Snow-capped mountains and a limpid lake.
Clouds are hanging low.
The skiff is being tossed about.
Weeping willows hand down their branches.
An egret is soaring across the sky.
Gently touching the water,
a dragonfly appears.
Brushed by the breeze,
a traveler is in delight.
Peaks rise one upon another in the mist.
Wind blows the emerald waves.
Butterflies dance; bees follow.
A born beauty is the focus of a thousand eyes.
She is the feast of the eye.
Men intoxicate themselves without wine.
Traveling in a remote corner,
he has become a wanderer
far away from his homeland.
His heart is broken;
his dreams are in vain.
His aspiration is low;
his spirit is down.
He is drinking to help himself drown.
An old temple is at one side of the stream.
There are terraced fields
on the slope of a steep mountain.
The sun shines from the west
in the late afternoon.
A boat and a man
with his own shadow alone.
His heart is like rotten wood,
not wanting to be stirred by
memories of the past.
But the tone is so clear;
the sound of the string instrument is so sad.
Intermittently and audibly,
it comes with the wind to his ears.
Even the heart is as quiet as the still water,
he cannot keep it from being stirred
by the rippling water.
The mind is not at ease;
the thought often pops up.
Alone, she stands still,
looking at the flowing water.
She wishes that her sorrow
be washed away with the water.
But her sorrow always comes back.
Her love for him has not been dead.
The wind again blows;
the birds again mourn that autumn is ending.
Time does not slow down for her sake.
She chants the scriptures
with the Buddhist rosary every day.
But her sorrow remains as deep as ever.
How can the spilt water be recovered?